November 27, 2019

Photo: Juny, Colgate University, Class of 2023

“I think the most important thing Minds Matter taught me was to have a culture of respect and be open-minded to all ideas.”

QUESTION: How did you first learn of Colgate?

JUNY: If it weren’t for the resources of Minds Matter, I wouldn’t have. Colgate speakers gave a presentation at a session, and I was first attracted to the school’s beautiful green campus and study abroad opportunities.

QUESTION: What else appealed to you about Colgate?

JUNY: The OUS (Office of Undergraduate Studies) Scholar Program at Colgate, is a scholarship program that not only helps pay tuition, but it is an amazing support system. I am one of 31 scholars chosen from all over the country to go through an intensive summer institute for five weeks.

QUESTION: What are your biggest worries about going to college far from home?

JUNY: I know that being away from family will be tough for me, but what keeps me running is knowing that I am the first in my family to go to college. My little sister and I slept in the same bed, and I know she has a hard time sleeping without me there. But I know my strength and I also understand why I made the decisions I made.

QUESTION: How do you think MMLA has prepared you for college and post-college life?

JUNY: WOW. I do not know where to start. First of all, because of the summer programs, I know how to manage my time and balance work with self-care. I know how to handle the arduous college readings and class discussions. Colgate is 70 percent white. At Minds Matter, we had tough conversations about being in a place where not everyone looks like you.

QUESTION: What do you want to study at Colgate and why?

JUNY: I am interested in majoring in Educational Studies: I want to be a contributor to educational reform and fit the educational needs of children from low socioeconomic backgrounds. 

QUESTION:  What extracurricular interests do you plan to pursue?

JUNY: I am excited to join Latin American dance clubs and I also want to help the migrant farmers around the Colgate campus, who are predominantly Guatemalan and Mexican.

QUESTION: How have the last three years at MMLA changed you?

JUNY: Being in Minds Matter gave me a voice I didn’t know I had. When I joined Minds Matter, I recognized myself and my talents. I loved having mentors who had my back and did not judge me because of my roots and circumstances. I had the opportunity to engage in public speaking and grew comfortable with sharing my ideas out loud. My goal is towards closing achievement gaps in the changing group of culturally and linguistically disadvantaged students. I aspire to continue to give back to my community, and after I graduate from college, my goal is to serve low income, first-generation students of color–just like me.